Ever snapped a photo with a bright background and a dim foreground and either had the foreground too dark or the background blown-out?
Time for High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging Its a feature that is far more at home on DSLRs, rather than lowly point-and-shoot cameras, let alone the Nokia N900. Of course, we can’t match the quality (or speed) of those DSLRs with their superior CCDs. On the other hand, it’s just downright amazing that you can actually snap respectable HDR photos with the N900 and automate the process to a high degree – right down to actually processing the HDR right from your own phone – as long as you have CPU cycles to spare..
EV = 1389
EV = 14476
EV = 27570
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The Frustrated Computer Guy
Just a quick-post to introduce the Invalidfile.Press theme! It is based on Portfolio Press, a dark and minimalist WordPress theme I found linked via Smashing Magazine’s list of 100 Amazing Free WordPress Themes for 2009. It’s an old but great list whether you’re looking for design inspiration and/or wanting to download some themes to try out.
The original design has been tweaked a bit – sprinkled with some CSS3 goodies (border-radius! box-shadow!), a more prominent search box, menus, tag-line rotation and so on..
The Frustrated Computer Guy logo is inspired by the stick figures of xkcd. He was drawn in Inkscape, and touched-up with the GIMP. Hopefully, his presence will help counter-balance all those straight lines
Note: The new theme is not compatible with Internet Explorer 6. The website content is readable but the logos look absolutely dreadful. You have been warned!
ADDENDUM: Visitors using Internet Explorer 6 will now be served with the cutdown edition of Invalidfile.Press – basically the same theme without the nifty logos. And just to rub it in, it will also insult the user’s discerning taste in browsers Apologies to all you corporate users who are forced to use IE6
Blogging on the WordPress engine couldn’t be easier – just write away and click that “Publish” button. Easy, until you decide to test the bits that happen after you’ve clicked that button..
Case-in-point: Recently, I found myself wondering whether WordPress was sending pings to my configured Update Services. Its pretty hard to tell since pings are sent asynchronously in the background when a post is published. WordPress can then happily chug along without having to wait for all those ping operations to complete. However, it does mean that if a ping operation fails for whatever reason – it will fail silently. No errors. Zip. Na-da.
To be fair, there are errors, but only in the Apache/PHP logs – not the most convenient of places to look. Now, I’m paranoid and insecure – I need some reassurance that my blog is actually behaving the way I’m expecting it to. Oh, did I mention that I’m lazy as well?
In a nutshell, what I needed was a blog ping tester. I googled around. My conclusion: whoever gave “blog ping” its name couldn’t have made it anymore difficult to find useful content about it. The rest of the world is interested in network pings, and rightly so. On the other hand, I’m the poor sod looking for something so automated and ubiquitous (at least in the blogosphere) that nobody bothered to mention it, except when advertising the very services that I feared I wasn’t connecting to.
So, I was stuck with another one of those “itches” concerning this blog (the other one being the blog design, but I digress). To scratch this itch, I wrote a blog ping tester. It’s not based on XML-RPC, even though blog pings are. It’s a dumb script that receives an incoming blog ping, does some rudimentary parsing, then logs it.
And it works! (I think). Just add http://null.invalidfile.name/blog-ping-test/ into your list of sites in Settings > Writing > Update Services, then publish something. If your blog is sending out pings properly (and this website is up), you will see your blog ping show up in the tester log.
Feel free to use this service to test your blog’s ping sending capability and (hopefully) regain your peace of mind.The logs are public, and the server will only keep the 50 most recent pings – it deletes the rest.
For those of you who want to look at the source code, it’s right here.
I really don’t know if there is another service out there that does the same thing. If you know of any, please post the link in the comments.
The usual disclaimer: I make no guarantee of anything whatsoever with regards to the blog ping tester – it may be unfit for your purposes, it may fail occasionally and it might not make you any less cynical or nervous. YMMV.
My friends and I were approached by a couple of university students today. They were doing a survey as part of their coursework. Quite a timid bunch – all girls – shyly passing out the forms to us.
We weren’t the only people there – sitting nearby was an elderly gentleman engrossed with his laptop. I didn’t get a good look at him, since he was wearing a straw hat. Although I can’t quite fathom why I assumed so at that moment, I thought he was a tourist. Because of a straw hat? Maybe. Silly me..
Anyway, the girls were clearly apprehensive of approaching this lone man. So I quietly hinted to them that carrying out a good survey means approaching everyone regardless. I figured that even if he was unfriendly, it would do no harm and they would still learn something.
The gentleman’s response could not have been more unexpected..
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Recently, a friend of mine called this blog “ugly”. I concur with the evaluation – this theme is definitely NOT on the cutting edge of design or creativity. Moreover, I been having this naggy feeling in the back of my head that it isn’t very “useable” in the long run either..
Therefore, I will improve it.. somehow ;P I’m a programmer, not a designer. Its not in my nature to come up with constructs that are anything more than utilitarian. The current retro look (based on those old terminal displays) is probably an extension of that mentality.
Maybe I’m lucky I didn’t go full retro. Wow.
Anyway, I found something called wp-constructor hosted on Google Code. From a cursory examination of the project page, it appears to consist of “utility” WordPress themes that serve as the basis for more complex designs. I’m going to give it a go when time permits during the next few days (weeks?).
<placeholder> No, seriously..
In this space, in no particular order: rants, rumors, rages, reminders, rain, randomness, recipes, rice, reflections, rainbows, ramblings, rampancy, reclusiveness, rhymes, roamings..
We start here